Summer means school is out and vacations are on. Trips to the nearest beach, lake, and mountain range are all on the to-do list. But what if the budget is tight? Whose budget isn’t these days?
Our little staycation adjusts from a trip “out west” to a trip to the “Old West.” Instead of battling traffic, we battle aliens or monsters. Instead of a night of stargazing, we travel to the stars. After a long hot day of the same old thing, we go out and watch something explode. Yes, kids, it’s time for the summer blockbusters!
This summer brings a bumper crop of sequels (or franchise films, as I recently heard) that should keep the production companies in business a little longer.
We have the requisite animated sequels to Cars and Kung Fu Panda. Captain Jack Sparrow will return with his nemesis, Barbosa, to face a new foe, the pirate Blackbeard, and his daughter, in the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Fast Five has already premiered, and The Hangover II will be out soon as well. Thor leads the charge of super heroes, followed quickly by X-Men: First Class. Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon is sure to provide plenty of explosive action—even in outer space. , The Green Lantern and Captain America will round out the super summer, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II brings a little magic to the line-up.
While sequels may be the rule this season—and who can blame the producers, these films are sure things—I’m a little excited about the original movies coming out. Director J.J. Abrams has Super 8 premiering in early June. It’s about a group of kids making movies with their Super 8 camera in 1979 Arizona. They happen to catch an escapee from Area 51 on film. In my opinion, that’s a premise with promise.
I’ve heard critics call this a cast of unknowns, but I believe most of the audience will recognize a few faces like Elle Fanning and Ron Eldard, even if only to say, “Hey, isn’t he the guy…” or “She looks like a young Dakota….”
My husband has already announced that he believes Cowboys and Aliens could become his favorite movie of all time. I enjoy most of Jon Favreau’s work; I like his sense of humor in weird situations. I like Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell, and I’m a big Harrison Ford fan from way back.
The film is based on a graphic novel about 1800’s cowboys and Native Americans battling space aliens. In the process, as I notice in the movie trailers, Olivia Wilde’s character, Ella, has all of her clothing abducted by the aliens. I suspect that’s why my husband is so excited. Nevertheless, I’ll be in line for its premier.
The summer box office also holds treasures for the little ones. Winnie the Pooh, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and The Smurfs will insure entertainment for the whole family.
I always get excited about the summer crop of features. Few of them are ostentatious or arrogant, begging for Oscar notice. They just bring the fun and adventure that every summer needs. They provide a little two-hour vacation to pretty much wherever and whenever I want. I enjoy the Caribbean, and I’d love to visit Europe and the Far East. I’ve been to both Arizona and 1979, but I wouldn’t mind a quick trip back to either.
Though movie ticket prices seem to rise constantly, it’s still a less expensive alternative to airline tickets and checked baggage. When the temperature rises outside, it’s always cool and comfortable in the theatre. Let’s go!
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema! Thanks for reading!